Several shell helpers make calls to the connected MongoDB instance that can block for long periods of time. Most notable is when we do writes to the config server with a majority write concern, though there are others. Where possible, in the case that these operations block for a while, rather than having the user just staring at a shell window that is hung and providing no feedback, it would be preferable if the user got periodic updates as to the status of the operation they are waiting on. For example:
For the shell helpers that are performing writes with a write concern, this could be accomplished by using a low wtimeout for the first write, then using getLastError to periodically poll the status of the last write done. Shell helpers wrapping database commands with timeouts controlled in a different way may need more work to achieve this. Even if we can't do this for all the shell helpers, just getting the ones doing raw database writes would be a nice improvement.